In today's fast-paced business world, the ability to adapt and innovate is crucial for staying ahead of the curve. For Boulay, an independent accounting and financial consulting firm with headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, this commitment to adaptability has been a cornerstone of their success.
Peter Anderson, Chief Information Officer, who has been with Boulay for nearly 20 years, played a pivotal role in the firm's early technology initiatives, including the implementation of Deltek Maconomy. Before Maconomy, they relied on a practice management system built for legal firms. As a fully integrated ERP purpose-built for professional services firms, Maconomy was a better fit for their industry-specific needs.
Kris Braaten, Director of Business Intelligence explained, "We looked at several different solutions. We chose Maconomy because it brought the core functions of time, billing, project management and more into a much easier-to-use system." The comprehensive features of an ERP for professional services perfectly aligned with Boulay's business needs.
Boulay utilizes Maconomy for time and expense management, project budgeting and scheduling, people planning and general ledger functions. Additionally, they implemented a forecasting and budgeting tool from Prophix, a Deltek Marketplace partner. The Prophix solution integrates seamlessly with Maconomy to streamline financial budgeting and forecasting. Since implementing Prophix, the firm has seen a 20% improvement in net income forecast accuracy. In addition, the firm has more confidence in the data, allowing better decision-making.
“Our Audit department budgets their projects in Maconomy and schedules them in People Planner. Ever since People Planner was embedded into the Maconomy Workspace Client (WSC), this felt like a seamless process for our audit department, making the process much easier. In addition to that, our business intelligence team developed a Power BI report that considers the schedule, budget, or prior year hours from Maconomy to gain visibility on the next 12 months for their audit department. “It has been powerful to use this data to monitor the progress of our budgeting and scheduling efforts but also to start to predict what capacity looks like a year from now,” said Kris.
Benefits of Moving to the Cloud
One of the major milestones in Boulay's technological journey was the decision to move from an on-premises installation to Deltek Maconomy in the Cloud. Remarkably, this transition took only two and a half months, making it one of the quickest migrations Kris has ever witnessed.
The firm considered staffing needs when deciding to move to the cloud. The firm has 285 employees in the US with additional employees in India. Peter said, "We had a core principle of allowing employees to work from anywhere at any time. Having Maconomy in the cloud made it easy to add contractors from India, as well as the US." Moreover, all their other solutions were already in the cloud, making it a logical step to consolidate and simplify their IT infrastructure.
Boulay, not being in the hardware business, was relieved to shed the responsibility of maintaining seven servers. Deltek's cloud services took care of their infrastructure and the 24/7 monitoring of services and robust security measures, allowing Boulay to focus on their core operations.
By moving to the cloud Boulay simplified its software upgrades, allowing them to adopt new features and improvements. Their upgrade process evolved substantially, reducing the project timeline by 50% and improving team member experience.
Deltek’s cloud infrastructure also offers scalability, enabling Boulay to prepare for growth and potential acquisitions more effectively than with on-premises solutions.
Future Plans for Boulay
Looking ahead, Boulay has ambitious plans for the future. They aim to leverage more human resources features from Maconomy and adopt mobile functionality to empower their auditors working in areas with poor internet connectivity. Furthermore, they are committed to enhancing the user experience, which will aid in staff recruitment and retention. Maconomy's native business process automation (BPA) capabilities also enable automation of repetitive tasks, which will free up staff to focus on higher-value activities.
Peter noted, "Why have somebody spend time doing something tedious when a system can do it for you?" By eliminating manual tasks and embracing automation, Boulay can concentrate on mission-critical work and offer more profitable services to their clients.
Boulay's transition to Deltek’s cloud has been a transformative journey, driven by their commitment to adaptability and innovation. As they continue to evolve and expand their capabilities, their experience provides valuable insights for other firms considering a similar shift.
Advice for Firms Looking to Implement Maconomy
Peter’s advice for firms is clear: "Spend time ensuring all your solutions continue to work seamlessly in the new system and all data is migrated. I recommend going directly to the cloud when you implement Maconomy. In addition, choose the right partner to help with your implementation. We used Deltek Professional Services and experienced a 50% reduction in the amount of time it took to upgrade, from start to finish.”
With careful planning and the right technology partner, the cloud can be the catalyst for remarkable improvements in efficiency, security, and scalability, just as it has been for Boulay.
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